Drupal related posts by Gábor Hojtsy.

Talking about usability and localization infrastructure at Drupal Developer Days Brussels

Drupal Developer Days Brussels

Drupal Developer Days is going to happen this year in Brussels in one month (4-6th of February, 2011). This theme of topical conferences on Drupal getting focus is very popular nowadays. Brussels had an executives meetup in October, Prague just had a designers event in November and this next one coming up is focused on development. While Drupal historically had a developer room at the FOSDEM conference, this year, the project hosts its own event nearby kicking off with a code sprint on Friday and full-on session program on the weekend.

I proposed two sessions: How to integrate the core Drupal 7 usability improvements with your module and Drupal's new localization infrastructure and where do you fit in. I think both are important topics. Drupal needs contributed modules and distributions to be top notch in terms of usability (even more so then core) and it needs localized interfaces and communities to help it spread in all kinds of cultures. While the first session is more coder oriented, the second will hold invaluable information for site builders and translators as well (while keeping module builders in the loop).

There are already almost 300 people signed up for this event, so it looks to be shaping up to be fun and busy again. If you are working with Drupal, do not pass the opportunity to get yourself integrated in the community. This event is great to get started or just keep it up. There are various reasons working on Open Source software is going to benefit your career.

Open source as life insurance - how did that work out?

Back in the day when I was a college student, I was participating in "technology roadshow" events around the country presenting Drupal to various people. At one occasion, I presented to primary school and high school teachers and surprisingly, one of the teachers from my old high school was there, interested in the topic. We explained with my co-presenter István Palócz, that Drupal is free (as in speech and in beer), and that they can just install that for their school (as István did at that time), and use as an intranet or their public facing site.

Five reasons you should not miss Drupal Design Camp Prague

Drupal Design Camp Prague is coming up in Prague on the 6th and 7th of November, 2010. The event is targeted at the international audience interested in Drupal design, building Drupal themes, implementing HTML 5, doing tricky Javascript, and so on. It is in some ways the European counterpart to the Drupal Design Camps from Boston.

1. It is being held in Prague. If you have never been in Prague, you should not miss it! A very charming city with towers, and towers, and towers... And of course a gorgeous castle, peaceful walking streets, and a welcoming atmosphere. And the organizers secured a very stylish venue to boot!

2. Meet with people you know from drupal.org and always wanted to chat with. Morten.dk of mothership (and of course Drupalcon Copenhagen and Awesomesauce) fame, Marek, the author of RootCandy, Bojhan, one of the leaders in Drupal usability, just to name a few people. This is an event focused on design and there is plenty of space to make a name for yourself too.

3. It has a nice price! For 20 EUR, you get great sessions for two days (take a peek at the sessions already submitted), plus food and drinks at the venue.

4. Three hours of free training included! My Acquia collegue, Heather James is going to hold three hours of training with Marek Sotak on the innards of the theme system, hook_theme, and altering markup. Yes, that is still in the above mentioned price. Can you say awesome?!

5. Oh, and yours truly will be there. If that helps in your (positive) decision. I'm planning to at least talk about Drupal 7 in general, and help with the trainings.

Hope to meet you there!

Install Drupal localized without further user effort - a new distribution

I've been involved with Drupal localization since the early times I'm with Drupal and was looking at ways to keep improving language and translation setup. Still, if you need to install Drupal 6 localized, you need to download Drupal 6 in English and when prompted in the installer, go and grab a package for your language. That has a structure resembling Drupal core itself, and if you extract it to the right directory, each translation file will fall into place. Then if you go back to install Drupal, it will go localized.

While many people learned the tricks of the trade, this is not entirely easy. Extracting packages to the same directory as Drupal core is not easy on the Mac, where this ends up by directory overwrites by default. It is a confusing experience for newcomers on various operating systems, because merging two packages by extracting to the same directory is a (clever but) foreign concept. But if you think of it, we tell you to download a file from a well known place, let Drupal know about it and then import it. Why wouldn't the installer download the file and import it for us? With the advancement of http://localize.drupal.org/, the contributed module and theme translations are also decoupled from the projects, so there is even more user effort in obtaining translations for them, while this could all be automated.

This thinking drove to the birth of the Localized Drupal install profile, which is now available in proof-of-concept form for Drupal 6 and 7. The user interface for the installation could definitely use some polish as we need to let you choose from the 70 languages available on localize.drupal.org, but honestly, localized installations should not be harder then this. Let's take it for a spin!

Installing Localized Drupal 7.x-dev

In both versions, you'll be presented with a "Localized Drupal" selection among the install profiles. You need to select this to take advantage of the automation provided. This is due to the architecture of installation profiles. A library component is planned for this profile, so that other distributions can include the code needed to start installations off in a foreign language, but for plain Drupal core installation, you'll need to choose this separate profile.

You'll need to choose your language of course, but you should not be required to do anything else beyond that. This is it.

Localized Drupal 7.x-dev just installed

While this might provide immediate installation simplicity, for contributed modules to provide similar ease of localization installation and updates, Jose Reyero is hard at work on the Localization update module. Think of this as the install and update module for localizations. The Localized Drupal install profile is moving towards including and utilizing Localization update for an overall pleasant localized software experience. As soon as you add a couple contributed modules and a theme, you'll find it much easier to manage interface localizations with Localization update compared to trying to make it work manually. Oh and it works with Drush too.

Feedback on the install profile as well as the update module and the concepts and approaches is welcome.

How Drupal improves and evolves, the basics behind the community

It is that phase of my life! I'm just turning 30 in a month, working with Drupal for 7 years and just had my third Acquia anniversary a week ago. Time to look back and evaluate how things went, all the good and bad things; even better if the wisdom can be shared with others. This was part of my thinking when I submitted the session titled "Come for the software, stay for the community" for Drupalcon Copenhagen.